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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #4976
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Yeaaah, Outlander was a no from me.

    I just wanted Long Shot. Good fun, with some good laughs. But then I like Seth Rogan so....

  2. #4977
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I watched "El Hoyo".
    Translated in English: "The Platform". But it translates from Spanish as "The Hole".
    Movie from 2019. 94 Minutes. Available on Netflix. Spanish spoken (as usual, don't watch synchronized movies, if the original language with subtitles is available).

    Don't know what to say about it.
    Except it's a bit different from most movies.
    I don't want to spoil anything. If you are interested, just watch it. Don't read about it. Anything. Until you've seen the movie.
    If you don't like it, it'll be obvious within 20-30 minutes. You can stop then, if you don't like it.

    I think it's worth watching.

  3. #4978
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Forgot to mention that a few weeks ago, watched the final episode of ST: Picard.

    Finale has some good bits, but overall this isn't Star Trek. It completely fucks with Star Trek lore, completely disregards all that Gene Roddenberry envisioned with the universe. Racism, swearing, currency / material wealth (even though there is free replicators everywhere), all back. Mankind is no better than what they were like prior to discovering warp drive (which that in itself fucks up everything all of the Star Trek shows put out there). Avoid this show like the plague. They have turned the ST universe into it's mirror universe equivalent.

    It puts forth a future that is nothing to look forward to. Babylon 5 has a better universe. Skip this show. Do not watch it. It was clearly made by one who has never watched any Star Trek shows or movies before, besides maybe the JJ Abrams movies. I don't hate it, but I didn't majorly like it either. The amount of times I sat there yelling "THIS DOESN'T BELONG IN STAR TREK" at my monitor watching it. Gah. Avoid. I would never watch this again. And for a show called "Star Trek - Picard", he's not even the main character of it. The android Soji is. It should have been called "Star Trek: Soji". The last few episodes completely rip off Mass Effect. Not good.

  4. #4979
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Over the past 2 nights, watched:

    The Girl Next Door - Man, this movie is so unrealistic. Took me ages to switch my brain off. Pretty good overall. Ending is great.

    Welcome to the Dollhouse - Man this movie is depressing and it never stops. I got bullied quite bad in high school, which took me to a really dark place at the time. This movie gave me major flashbacks, though it's from a girl's perspective and the world's just fucked in this. Even her family was cruel and heartless. It never gets better either, which goes against most high school movies. It's realistic in that regard I guess. But man did this movie leave me angry. If my family was like the girl's, I'd have moved out decades ago, or jumped off a cliff.

    In the movie, every time she fights back, the bullies got 100% Scott free away with it and only she got in trouble. Yup been there so many times. When she gets in trouble due to it 1 time, she says to her parents that she was only standing up for herself, and her parents say to her that she shouldn't have fought back. So they basically tell her that she should just take it and not do anything. That is horrible. She tries to report 1 instance of the stuff to a teacher, and both she and the offending student are put in detention. What the fuck. I know your not supposed to take movies seriously, but when you've been a victim of it yourself, it's a raw nerve that you never truly heal from. Not completely. To this day, I still get angry when I see it in a TV show or movie, and it happened almost 20 years ago. I had video games at least and awesome parents (who I didn't tell at the time of what was going on). She doesn't even have that. Fuckin hell. This is why youth suicide is so high. She runs away from home and her parents don't care at all. How absolutely depressing. It even ends on a sour sad note.

    This movie will leave you very depressed and angry. The actors all do a great job in their roles, especially the main character, but it's all just too real, besides the messed up family. My parents suggested I go to karate at the time, which I did for several years. Helped me a few times. I kept expecting the movie to get more positive but nope its 100% depressing. If you, like me suffered from bullying this movie will be a major trigger so I don't recommend it.

    [Night 3]

    Tonight, watched "Bad Boys for Life".

    Reviews I watched for this months ago said that this was an excellent movie. Hmm no. Average at best, with a few good laughs here and there. Action scenes were few and far between and most of them were nowhere near as good as in in the previous 2 films. 6/10 for me.
    Last edited by icemann; 9th Apr 2020 at 12:39.

  5. #4980
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    I watched "El Hoyo".
    Translated in English: "The Platform". But it translates from Spanish as "The Hole".
    Movie from 2019. 94 Minutes. Available on Netflix. Spanish spoken (as usual, don't watch synchronized movies, if the original language with subtitles is available).

    Don't know what to say about it.
    Except it's a bit different from most movies.
    I don't want to spoil anything. If you are interested, just watch it. Don't read about it. Anything. Until you've seen the movie.
    If you don't like it, it'll be obvious within 20-30 minutes. You can stop then, if you don't like it.

    I think it's worth watching.
    I was extremely disappointed by this one. I'm really tired of lazy writing that hides its ineptitude at finding resolution behind style and aesthetics. There are movies that are open to interpretation because they're built that way with a rich underlying current of characterization and plot, and there are movies that are open to interpretation because they literally stop and leave the whole thing unfinished.

    Paradoxically, it's also way longer than it should. I argued with colleagues that if you made it 20 minutes shorter it would make a very decent Black Mirror episode. Characters repeat themselves ad nauseam to make obvious points, which only adds to the frustration when the ending comes out as a cop out.

    Worth watching... until the last 2 minutes.

    It's too bad because the concept itself was fantastic and they could really have gone to town with this.
    Last edited by raph; 15th Apr 2020 at 10:06.

  6. #4981
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I'm sorry if you didn't like it in the end. I understand what you're saying. I thought it was an interesting movie, although it feels it could have been made better. (Indeed, by e.g. making it shorter. Or changing the end. Or something).

    Yesterday I watched "Vivarium" (2019). I didn't like it. The basis for the story is one simple idea. And for the rest there isn't really a story. I can't remember why I decided to watch Vivarium (someone must have recommended it to me, I guess). So I wasn't disappointed. But if you don't watch this one, you won't miss anything.

    2-3 Weeks ago I started watching "The Man in the High Castle". TV show on Amazon Prime. 4 Seasons of 10 episodes each. Based on the novel TMITHC by Philip K Dick. So I thought this might be good. Unfortunately, no. I watch 15 episodes, and decided to stop watching it. The base story element on which everything is built is good ("what if ..."). But for the rest I didn't like it much. No scifi elements. No surprises, no twists. I found the characters uninteresting (the good guys and the bad guys). I didn't care about the characters (during view I was basically cheering: "go on then, throw a nuclear bomb on the whole lot !"). TMITHC was a bit disappointing for me.

  7. #4982
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Me too. I watched until the last episode of Season 1 I think, and just couldn't be bothered to finish it.

  8. #4983
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    So I just finished off Devs. It's a one-off 8 episode series. It wildly exceeded my expectations, and I actually don't want to say too much because it's good to come into it without any preconceptions. I thought it was going to be like that old techy show Eureka, where some hi-tech lab comes up with interesting gizmos and they play around with reality. But this was on a higher plane than that, bordering on the spiritual, in both the mind-expanding and the disorienting off-putting sides of that term.

    Probably the best element of it was the music and sound design, which were pretty amazing in evoking the otherworldliness and cosmic scale of it. The Nick Offerman character is pitch perfect. I've been reading people saying that he's playing against type, but he still has the same fiercely independent streak as Ron Swanson. The main character is kind of wooden, like a grown up 11. In a normal show that'd be a problem, but this show brings little nuances up to a cosmic level, so her underacting and the smallness of her character actually kind of work here. The story was not what I was expecting, but anyway playing with ideas that are fun to think about, and for the most part it holds all the way through. Highly recommended.

  9. #4984
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Iunno. Devs went exactly where I was expecting it to, which is unexpected when it comes to an Alex Garland joint. The audience wants a certain outcome when it comes to the problem of determinism and free will, and while the show makes a good amount of noise about reality not being what you want it to be, in the end its ultimate failure is not giving each interpretation equal weight, no matter the soliloquies from its pro/antagonists. I think the point where you knew exactly where it was headed was the episode with multiple versions of events playing out simultaneously in the intro. Lovely set of sequences to behold visually, but the irony of that creative choice was that everything narrowed down to an inevitable conclusion. And that removed the richness of thematic resonance. Also, quoting Larkin, then Yeats - not so much on the nose as it is thumping the nose with a ball-peen hammer.

    Which means the bits to focus on are the acting and the directing. And you know, there's no real wrong notes in the acting or the cinematography. It's shot well, there's dabbling with arthouse framing, Ron Swanson with long hair is a hoot. And yet, and it's good that you mentioned underacting -- the main players feature this odd, affect-less detachment that I find distracting. Rational people behave irrationally in certain situations, but outside of Katie's probable sociopathy, there's this sense that the other characters just aren't particularly human. Lily's confusion and coldness are at odds with each other, Katie's sudden burst of emotion in the last episode is at odds with everything we've seen about her for seven episodes, and Forest -- for someone apparently driven by tragedy, he's oddly detached when he's not imploding. It's also something that bothered me about Ex Machina, but at least there it made sense in context.

    So there are some missteps, but it's an interesting story about reality with the requisite amount of surface-level collegiate philosophical meandering. I'd say I wanted there to be more to it, but I'd also have to think about what you actually can do within this framework that affords deeper insight. And maybe I will at that. That aside, I'd say it's all right, all in all. A solid 6.5/10. It doesn't leverage the strengths of TV, so they could have made it a punchy movie instead, with all the flab cut out.

    What tickles me though is that we're living in a time where we have two (three if you count the mediocrity that is Dark) high budget TV shows about determinism competing with each other. Westworld seems to be headed towards the same conclusion as Devs, but it's having slightly more fun doing that.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 19th Apr 2020 at 10:26.

  10. #4985
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I'm gonna watch Devs then.

    Is Westworld worth watching ? I've started with season 1 last week. I've seen 4 episodes now. It's good, but it didn't grab me by the throat yet. The problem is, I think, that've read everywhere that the series drops off after season 1. Supposedly the storylines in season 2 will become more complex, at the point where you have no clue what you're looking at, and no clue what's happening. Is that true ? I was afraid that if I'd watch season 1, it would be frustrating to not watch any further. Or I'd get tempted, watch some season 2, and also be frustrated.

    So what do you think ? Is Westworld worth watch ? Only one season ? All seasons ? (I thought season 4 was the last season, and it was already done ?)

  11. #4986
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Westworld is interesting. It may never completely grab you (I know it didn't me), but it's always interesting. Season 2 is quite a drop-off, because its themes aren't particularly complex (the big ticket concept is the nature of free will and how that intersects with machine intelligence and the robot uprising), but it's presented in a way that's befuddled enough to suggest complexity - it becomes work to figure out which timelines you're actually watching, and that effort isn't quite paid off in the end for what you get. Season 3's a recalibration of sorts, but its through-line is still the matter of free will and determinism, and the weaknesses are still there, but it does a better job of balancing out looking cool and throwing in set pieces to offset the cerebration.

  12. #4987
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Westworld Season 2 is a trainwreck in the presentation. I can't finish the last episode - I'll watch 10 minutes and nope out. I hear S3 is good though...

    Will be giving Devs a go.

    Watched the first episode of Tales from The Loop. It reminded me a bit of Shane Carruth's stuff, without the depth.

  13. #4988
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Season 3 of Westworld is pretty good from what I've watched of it so far. 4 episodes in.

  14. #4989
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well Suphur is going to pressure me to give a more objective review of Devs. It could be fairly charged with style over substance, although IMO it's better than Garland's Ex Machina, first just because there are more characters and plot to work with. I really liked the style, so I didn't mind.

    But on the substance ... I said the plot held together -- aside from a few unmotivated actions or acting-out-of-character moments, but even then they were done in the service of the plot, so better than perfect characters in a more plodding story -- but I think the reason is because the backbone of most of the plot was a caper. If it had just been all thought experiments, it wouldn't have kept up the momentum like it did. Each episode was pretty good at moving the story forward and having a strong flow, which I gave extra credit maybe. I also liked the characters so was rooting for them, and it was funny, very creepy and morose too, but funny even in those moments. It had a way of taking its ideas really seriously while still openly laughing at itself that I liked. So that made it easier for me to suspend my objective critical tendencies watching it.

    I think, any in event, it's a good data point to compare alongside Westworld. They're exploring similar territory and trying to do the same mix of action and token cyberpunk philosophy. If you like watching one, you'll probably like watching the other.

  15. #4990
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Season 3 is VERY cyberpunk. Far more than the earlier 2 seasons.

  16. #4991
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Saw the first episode of Devs and had to watch the second.

    I like the style. I didn't realise it was an Alex Garland project until the credits. So far, so good. Better than Ex Machina? Hmmm. That's some high praise in my opinion, but so far it's definitely holding up.

  17. #4992
    This weekend I finished The Good Place. The show had a quirky premise but ended up being extremely interesting and very rich in its themes. The cast is perfect, both individual performances and as an ensemble, and I feel that it really made a dry subject like philosophy so accessible to its audience. It's great that the show runners knew to end it at the right time too, rather than drag it on needlessly. All in all, heartily recommended! I did not expect a seemingly little show to captivate me so much

  18. #4993
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Does it do more interesting things with its ideas than Westworld? Personally, I find that Westworld is more concerned with appearing smart and deep and philosophical than it is successful at pulling this off. The structural games it plays often strike me as a smokescreen more than anything else. IMO it’s most successful when it focuses on the characters and when the ideas are more implicit than when they are foregrounded. Which is fine: I like the actors and I generally like the character stories, but especially in S2 I’d say that the Big Ideas got in the way more often than not due to how clunkily they were handled.

  19. #4994
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    @raph: Yeah, The Good Place was a beautiful show. I can't say I ever found it funnier than eliciting a wry chuckle out of me, but it had an assuredness to itself, a strong handle on its concepts, and at least half of its MVPs were characters I'd want to be friends with if I knew them. The ending, as well, has a special place in my heart for how it wrapped the characters' threads up. You know a show's done something right when you find yourself missing its characters every time someone talks about it.

    @Thirith: I'd say, on balance, maybe just a little bit more than Westworld S3 so far. dema's noted that its plotting is strong, and I agree with that -- that's the reason why you want to know what happens in the end -- but in terms of what it does with its philosophical ideologies, it's fairly definitive in what it thinks is the right answer and barrels into that past the halfway mark, for both good and ill to the story. There's also some fairly overt exposition that doesn't disguise itself as anything but, so regardless of stylistic heft it can be clunky with its characters and execution. But that doesn't take away from the fact that both it and Westworld are worthwhile watches.

  20. #4995
    I agree, it can be clunky sometimes but it's got an earnestness and chemistry to it that more than makes up for the flaws. Definitely a "more than a sum of its part" kind of thing. And as you said, they knew how to end it the right way, just like Bojack did. It's bittersweet and kind of nostalgic, but also necessary to move on.

    I need to catch up on Westworld. I watched S1 and I think I saw the first episode of S2 but I'm not sure.

  21. #4996
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Sorry, raph. I think Thirith was talking about Devs, which was what I was referring to in the second half of my post. You should probably see that, too!

    But anyway, to address what you said, The Good Place's clunkiness is honestly kind of endearing. I never quite bought Jason's lunkheadedness, for instance, but it was never anything but sweet. I agree - as a show, it's greater than the sum of its parts. But some of those parts also shine so very brightly anyway.

  22. #4997
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    My best pick is The plot against America - Legitimately one of the best tv shows airing right now. Every scene is measured and important. Characters meant to be hated are so hateable you want to leap into the screen and punch them bloody. It may seem exaggerated to some people but every scene of it feels true to someone who is watching his country slowly sliding into fascism.

    Other than that been having a fun time with all these shows on foreign channels and Netflix like Wisting, Giri/Haji, Better Call Saul, Man in the High Castle, Westworld, Ozark, His Dark Materials, Temple and my list keeps on expanding
    Last edited by Al_B; 23rd Apr 2020 at 06:20. Reason: Snipped link

  23. #4998
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    Quote Originally Posted by risolde View Post
    /.../ these shows on foreign channels and /.../
    Why the stealth spamlink? Are you some weird spambot?
    Last edited by zombe; 23rd Apr 2020 at 03:14.

  24. #4999
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Don't try that again, risolde, or you'll earn a ban.

  25. #5000
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. risolde's a spambot me thinks.

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